Auguste comte
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Auguste comte Presentation Transcript

  • 1. SOC444 Sociological Theory: Auguste ComteSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 1
  • 2. Auguste Comte ReferencesComte, Auguste. 1896. The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte.Comte, Auguste. 1912. Systeme de Politque Positive. 4th ed.Coser, Lewis A. 1971. Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Hoult, Thomas Ford. 1974. Dictionary of Modern Sociology. Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Company.Perdue, William D. 1986. Sociological Theory: Explanation, Paradigm, and Ideology. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company.Rapoport, Anatol. 1953. Operational Philosophy: Integrating Knowledge and Action. New York: Harper & Brother Publishers.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 2
  • 3. Auguste Comte 1798-1857 The father of sociology Born in FranceSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 3
  • 4. Auguste Comte The new social science that Comte sought to establish was first called social physics but he later found the term stolen by another intellectual so he coined the word sociology , a hybrid term compounded of Latin and Greek parts (Coser 1971:3). Comte first used the term sociology in print in 1838 (Perdue 1986:37).Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 4
  • 5. Auguste ComteThe “father of sociology;” French philosopher who asserted . . . that the fate of mankind depends in many respects upon the development of a science of human social relationships, that establish scientific disciplines have progressed only to the degree that they have been grounded in facts and experience, and that therefore the needed new science of human social relationships (a science which Comte suggested naming sociology) should adopt the study and experimental techniques of the physical sciences (Hoult 1974:76).Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 5
  • 6. Auguste Comte: Positivism August Comte’s philosophy based on his conclusion that an intellectual discipline progresses only to the degree that it is grounded in facts and experience, I.e., rests on information about which one can reasonably make positive statements. . . (Hoult 1974:243-244)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 6
  • 7. Auguste Comte: Positivism Positivism . . . seeks to describe only what “obviously” is, what one can really be positive about, that is, sense data. A strict positivist, seeing a black sheep on a meadow could not say, “There is a black sheep.” He could only say, “I see a sheep, one side of which is black.” (Rapoport 1953:74)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 7
  • 8. Auguste Comte: The Law of HumanProgress (or The Law of Three Stages) As early as 1822, when he was still an apprentice to Saint-Simon, Comte set himself the task “to discover through what fixed series of successive transformations the human race, starting from a state not superior to that of the great apes, gradually led to the point at which civilized finds itself today” (Comte 1912:Appendix).Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 8
  • 9. Auguste Comte: The Law of HumanProgress (or The Law of Three Stages)Applying what he conceived to be a method of scientific comparison through time, Comte emerged with his central conception, The of Human Progress or The Law of Three Stages . (Coser 1971:7)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 9
  • 10. Auguste Comte: The Law of HumanProgress (or The Law of Three Stages) Each of our leading conceptions--each branch of our knowledge, passes successively through three different theoretical conditions: the Theological or fictitious; the Metaphysical or abstract; and the Scientific or positive. . . (Comte 1912:1-2)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 10
  • 11. Auguste Comte: The Law of HumanProgress (or The Law of Three Stages) , , , Comte insists repeatedly that “intellectual evolution is the preponderant principle” of his explanation of human progress . . . (Coser 1971:8)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 11
  • 12. Auguste Comte: The Law of HumanProgress (or The Law of Three Stages) St age Tim e Period Ruled or Dom inat e Dom inat ed Social UnitTheological From the dawn of Priest Family--Fictitious man MilitaryMetaphysical Middle Ages Churchmen State--Abstract Renaissance LawyersScientific Industrialization Industrial Entire Human--Positive Administrators Race Scientific Moral Guides (Coser 1971:7-8)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 12
  • 13. Auguste Comte:Hierarchy of the Sciences Comte’s second best known theory, Hierarchy of the Sciences, is connected with the Law of Human Progress. The social sciences, the most complex and the most dependent for their emergence on the development of all others, are the “highest” in the hierarchy. (Coser 1971:9)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 13
  • 14. Auguste Comte:Hierarchy of the Sciences Sociology (Social Sciences) Biology Chemist ry Physics Ast ronomySunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 14
  • 15. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics Social Statics The study of the conditions and pre- conditions of social order Social Dynamics The study of human progress and evolution (Coser 1971:10-12)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 15
  • 16. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics Social Statics Family True social unit Smallest unit of social study in sociology The individual is not a legitimate component for research in sociology Families become tribes and tribes become nationsSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 16
  • 17. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics It is within the family that the elementary egotistical propensities are curbed and harnessed to social purposes. “It is by the avenue [of the family] that man comes forth from his mere personality, and learns to live in another, while obeying his most powerful instincts.” Comte (1896:281) and Coser (1971:10)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 17
  • 18. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics The family is the most elementary social unit and the prototype of all other human associations, for these evolve from family and kinship groups. Coser (1971:10)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 18
  • 19. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics Three Factors of Social Statics Language The means of storing the thought and culture of preceding generations Without a common language men could never have attained solidarity and consensus Without this collective tool no social order is possibleSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 19
  • 20. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics Religion A common religious belief provides a guide for behavior Religion furnishes the unifying principle, the common ground without which individual differences would tear society apart. Religion is the root of social order It is indispensable for making legitimate the commands of government. No temporal power can endure without the support of spiritual power.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 20
  • 21. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics Division of Labor Creates interdependence among members of the society Society ultimately benefits from a properly functioning division of labor As societies become more complex, the division of labor is the only means to properly adjust to that complexitySunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 21
  • 22. Auguste Comte:Social Statics and Social Dynamics Social Dynamics If the Social Statics are correctly balanced within a society, Social Dynamics can be orderly and positive for society.Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 22
  • 23. Auguste Comte:Normative Doctrine Normative DoctrineComte developed a complex blueprint of the good positive society of the future, a society directed by the spiritual power of priests of the new positive religion and leaders of banking and industry. These scientific sociologists- priests would be the moral guides and censors of the community, using the force of their superior knowledge to recall men to their duties and obligations; they would be the directors of education and the supreme judges of the abilities of each member of society. Coser (1971:12-13)Sunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 23
  • 24. Auguste Comte:Normative Doctrine Comte’s New Positive Order Love as its Principle Order as its Basis Propress as its Aim Altruism Live for OthersSunday, October 21, 2012 © 1998-2006 by Ronald Keith Bolender 24